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Lesson Transcript

Pronunciation # 5 Stress in Romanian Words
Eric: Hello, and welcome back to RomanianPod101.com. I’m Eric, and this is Pronunciation, Lesson 5 - Stress in Romanian Words.
Mihai: Buna ziua! I'm Mihai, and thanks again for being here with us for this pronunciation lesson. In this lesson you’ll learn where to put stress in Romanian words.
Eric: This is very important, because changing the position of the stress within a word is rarely allowed in Romanian. Romanian has dynamic and expiratory characteristics.
Mihai: So the stressed syllable has a higher intensity and a longer duration compared with the other syllables of the same word
Eric: Please remember that Romanian words can be divided into four groups, depending on which syllable you put the stress on.
Mihai: Okay, let’s start with the largest group of words. Do you remember what it was called, Eric?
Eric: Oxytone words. The stress falls on the last syllable.
Mihai: In Romanian, these are known as Cuvinte oxitone. So, the stress falls on the last one in order of reading. For example, aviator, a-vi-a-tor.
Eric: “aviator”
Mihai: export. ex-port
Eric: “export”
Mihai: a avea, a-vea
Eric: “to have.”
Mihai: a sări a să-ri
Eric: “to jump.”
Mihai: Now let’s jump into the second group, Eric. Do you remember the name?
Eric: I just remember it was a difficult word.
Mihai: I’ll jog your memory. Cuvinte paroxitone
Eric: Or “Paroxytone words” in English.
Mihai: It’s not difficult at all. Just put the stress on the second to last syllable.
Eric: For example?
Mihai: credit. cre-dit
Eric: “credit”
Mihai: academie, a-ca-de-mi-e.
Eric: “Academy.”
Mihai: Very good. Let’s jump to the third group. Cuvinte Proparoxitone.
Eric: Let me see if I can pronounce this in English. Proparoxytone words.
Mihai: They have the stress on the third to last syllable. Like ancora, meaning “anchor,” or diploma meaning “diploma.”
Eric: Now that you’ve gotten the hang of it, it’s time to move on to the next group. It’s not an easy one, as far as I remember.
Mihai: Words in the fourth group have their accent on the fourth to last syllable and they’re called....Eric are you ready?
Eric: Yes.
Mihai: Cuvinte Propoparoxitone
Eric: Oh, that’s a difficult word.
Mihai: The good news is that they’re not so common, and they’re usually polysyllabic feminine nouns that are rarely used in daily vocabulary, and many of them are archaic words.
Eric: Some examples, Mihai?
Mihai: La-po-vi-ţă, meaning “sleet,” or Bi-vo-li-ţă, “buffalo cow.”
Eric: You won’t use these words much unless you’re a weather host or have a buffalo farm! So what happens if we move the stress from one syllable to another?
Mihai: Romanians will understand you and they will probably find it interesting, but stress sometimes plays a role in semantic or grammatical differentiations.
Eric: So the stress might be the only difference between two words or grammatical forms that are written identically.
Mihai: That’s right. For example, veselă
Eric: Meaning “happy”
Mihai: And veselă
Eric: meaning “plates”
Mihai: el cântă, which is in the indicative present
Eric: And means “he is singing”
Mihai: And el cântă, in the indicative simple perfect
Eric: And means“he has sung.” We do not want to confuse these!
Mihai: In Romanian we also have words where moving the stress from one syllable to another is allowed.
Eric: I guess we should just learn those by heart.
Mihai: There aren’t many. For example, the word “manager” can be pronounced in Romanian as manager or manager.
Eric: Do you have another example in mind?
Mihai: Antic and antic
Eric: This is the word for “antique”, of course.
Mihai: Keep in mind that the great majority of the words in Romanian are cuvintele oxitone and paroxitone, which means they have the stress on the last or second to last syllables.
Eric: You’ll learn how to recognize and use stress through experience.
Mihai: And don’t forget that you'll often hear even native Romanian speakers make mistakes.
Eric: But don’t worry. In the beginning you will have to check in a good dictionary or ask your Romanian friends, but after a while it will become automatic.
Mihai: Now let’s review everything, shall we?
Eric: Okay!
Mihai: I’ll say a word and you and our listeners will have to guess where the stress falls. Ready?
Eric: Yes.
Mihai: veverita (silence).
Eric: “Squirrel.” It falls on the fourth to the last syllable.
Mihai: gradina(silence).
Eric: “garden.” The stress falls on the second to last syllable.
Mihai: repede (silence).
Eric: “Fast.” The stress falls on third to the last syllable.
Mihai: ca-fea (silence).
Eric: “coffee.” It falls on the last syllable.
Mihai: Bravo, Eric. That should do it for this lesson.
Eric. Finally!
Mihai: Have a nice day everyone! La revedere.
Eric: Bye!
Eric: Premium members, use the review track to perfect your pronunciation.
Mihai: It’s available in the premium section of the website,
Eric: the learning center,
Mihai: and through iTunes via the premium feed.
Eric: The Review Track gives you vocabulary and phrases followed by a short pause so you can repeat the words aloud.
Mihai: It’s the best way to get good fast!
Eric: Okay. Bye!
Mihai: La revedere!